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BBC Suggests Broadband ISP Levy to Replace UK TV Licence Fee

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 (7:57 am) - Score 34,357

The BBC has given its response to the UK Government’s (DCMS) consultation on their proposal to decriminalise TV licence fee evasion, which among other things includes a suggestion that the fee could be replaced by a levy or tax on consumer broadband bills. But they are not “advocating” for that, yet.

At present a colour TV licence costs £157.50 per year (up £3 on the previous fee) and a black and white licence costs £53 (up £1), while those who are blind (severely sight impaired) can apply for a 50% concession on that charge. The current payment system is court-enforced and can attract a criminal sanction if somebody fails to pay, which has long caused disagreement.

The BBC remains in favour of the current system and points to independent behavioural research, commissioned by the broadcaster itself, which suggests that under any civil system evasion would increase to around 10%. All told the broadcaster suggests this could cost them around £300m (or £1bn over the remainder of the Charter period from 2022 to 2027).

Significant cuts to programmes and services would be “inevitable” in a civil system, said the BBC. On top of that a civil system would not be without consequence, which they warned could result in those who evade it being left with the “threat of bailiffs at the door or impact on credit ratings.”

BBC Statement:

We recognise that the current system of collection by TV Licensing could be improved – and the BBC is happy to work with Government on proposals – such as more effective access to data and extending the simple payment plan scheme to help more people, particularly the most vulnerable and those on lower incomes.

And whilst we can of course understand why some people are attracted to a civil system, we agree with the Government’s own list of significant difficulties as set out in its consultation. This includes higher evasion and higher penalties.

It is likely that a civil system would hit the poorest hardest as there is no discretion built into the system. Unlike in the magistrates’ courts, where the court decides on the level of the fine, there is no discretion to vary the size of the fixed penalty. It is just that, fixed. The only discretion is to establish how the penalty should be paid.

This will have a significant impact on those on lowest incomes and the most vulnerable in society where the threat of bailiffs at the door or impact on credit ratings have serious consequences. We cannot see how these issues could be mitigated and deliver an effective sanction at the same time.

However, in its response to the Government’s consultation, the BBC has also said that they’re willing to consider alternative funding models, such as one linked directly to an existing household bill.

Extract from the BBC’s Response

In some countries the TV licence, or equivalent, is linked directly to an existing common household bill. For example it is collected through electricity bills in Italy and the equivalent of council tax bills in France. Another option to consider as the UK progresses towards universal access could be broadband bills.

This would be a significant change for the UK and we are not, at this stage, advocating it. It does however raise an interesting question as to whether the current system could be made much simpler, more efficient and more automated. We are open to exploring this further.

We suspect that consumers would not be universally welcoming of having their broadband bills so directly linked to the BBC TV Licence, particularly since most regard internet access as being an essential service but many would not hold the broadcaster’s own content to that same level of importance. Not that the content they create isn’t good, but broadband is simply on a different level and with other challenges.

The idea also raises complicated questions about how such a system might be imposed across such a diverse UK market, which may be dominated by a handful of major ISPs but is also home to hundreds of smaller providers. Such a levy would be quite a noticeable change and is certain to require regulatory approval, so as not to trigger penalty-free exit clauses (usually occurring when a provider imposes a mid-contract price hike).

We should point out that the idea of imposing a tax or levy on broadband is not a new one (e.g. Labour’s failed 50p phone line tax in 2009/10), although in the past such proposals have been linked to improving national broadband connectivity itself. Likewise it could be argued that the industry fund for the new and somewhat weak 10Mbps broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) is ultimately being fuelled out of consumer pockets.

At the same time it would seem counter-productive to be imposing a new levy on consumer broadband bills at the same time as the Government and ISPs are still trying to encourage the roll-out and take-up of superfast (24Mbps+), ultrafast (100Mbps+) and gigabit-capable (1Gbps+) internet connections. Many Building Digital UK based contracts include a clawback clause, which returns public investment as take-up rises.

Suffice to say that few want to make the latest gigabit-capable services even more expensive, particularly with the Government aiming to spend £5bn in order to make such connections available to every UK home by the end of 2025. Full fibre (FTTP) builders are spending big to roll-out these networks and a sudden hike in the annual cost of such packages might negatively impact take-up, which could in turn hurt their investment model.

Lest we forget the similar arguments around the current business rates relief on new fibre (Fibre Tax), which is due to end in 2022. Many fibre builders were shocked to see the Government’s recent Budget 2020 announcement overlook this.. again. But that’s another issue.

The BBC’s Consultation Response (PDF)
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/../bbc-consultation-response-decriminalising-licence-fee.pdf

UPDATE 8:32am

We figured this one might be ripe for a snap poll (note: votes are cached and may not show immediately in the results – check back later).

Do you support the idea of a levy or tax on broadband bills to pay for the BBC TV Licence fee?

  • No (86%, 2,734 Votes)
  • Yes (9%, 279 Votes)
  • I'm undecided (6%, 182 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,195

Leave a Comment
160 Responses
  1. Avatar tj

    TV License are a bloody scandal and useless ripped off by BBC

    • Avatar CarlT

      Okay Phil. Find me somewhere, anywhere, else providing that amount of programming across the variety of platforms the BBC does for that price.

    • Avatar Phil

      It is hardly a scandal or a rip off, the only negative is the almost mandatory requirement to pay it, which doesn’t sit well with many people in this day and age in being told they have to pay for something, although that’s life, we have to pay for what we use which is why we have taxes. Still many people voluntarily pay similar amounts to watch content from other services, be it Sky, Virgin or streaming services, most of those services are repeating content that was in part or whole originally funded by the licence fee, so get rid of the licence fee and just pay extra elsewhere. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

      Also don’t forget that the licence fee provides us with radio and TV wherever we are in the UK via a network of transmitters, no need for broadband or expensive data plans on mobiles, and also has funded a huge amount of R&D for technologies used all over.

      Our TV in the UK is the envy of most countries, have you seen the rubbish some countries have to put up with on their national TV systems.

      The problem the BBC has is that it must be free-to-air without encryption, it is a national TV service and everyone should have access, unlike Virgin or Sky (or any streaming service) that are allowed to encrypt their content and force you to pay for their services to view it. So there has to be some means to ensure the BBC get paid, and that model is the licence fee. In times of crisis like now, having an un-encrypted TV and radio system that anyone can access from anywhere is proving its worth to many people that other wise would have no other means of obtaining news or entertainment.

    • Avatar Barry White

      All well and good to the responders of this comment, but being forced to pay for a TV license when you don’t enjoy or watch the BBC’s content is the annoyance. It’s big headed of them to think that because they provide “a service”, that everyone who owns a TV enjoys it and therefore should pay for it… Well I for one think the BBC’ programming is shockingly bad.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Barry White
      As Phil notes below, if you don’t watch or take advantage of anything the licence fee covers then you don’t need to pay it. Remember though that the licence fee doesn’t just cover BBC content.

    • Avatar Bob2002

      Okay CarlT. Explain to me why a public service broadcaster is producing so much essentially commercial output, typically competing with ITV or Sky? If you want the BBC to act like a commercial organisation then they can play by the standards of their peers and be funded by adverts and or subscription. They can also stop criminalising 180,000 people per year and being part of the process that sees dozens go to jail for essentially not funding Strictly Come Dancing or Gary Lineker’s pay packet.

    • Avatar Mike

      It’s April 1st and the BBC are having us for fools.

    • Avatar david

      Licence fee has not covered Radio since 1971 – so that’s a moot point anyway

      This is a good idea – I don’t have broadband but do have Sky via just a dish (which was £25 one off at the time)

    • Avatar W.W.

      Is useless to pay for a network tat I almost never use and I can live ok without watching. If anybody want to watch it, perfect but I won’t pay for that, specially if I need to pay for other bills that are more important for me.

    • Avatar paul rice

      When the BBC stop paying themselves their obscene salaries perhaps us lesser mortals and pensioners may get a free license

    • Avatar W.W.

      In times of crisis is shameless and even criminal to be punished to pay to that BBC maffia for a service that I don’t want. Because the maffia works in the same way and this kind of mobsters have their own law and police with the approval of the government.

    • Avatar IC

      Why would I want to keep paying the BBC when they have nothing on TV that I watch …. absolute dulce. If we subscribe to a provider then we get what we pay for. Even the news is a waste of time and generally biased to a London audience …. I prefer to be kept up to date on the internet.

    • Avatar Paul

      Why do people keep promoting falsehoods, if you watch any, ANY! live to air service you are required to have a TV license. It does not apply just to the BBC services and it is a disgrace. If you pay for sky must have a license too, if you’re happy to watch as sponsored content from ITV must have a license.

      I have been unable to watch any live TV of any kind at home for 10 years now because I will not support this extra tax nor their completely one sided biassed woke twaddle.

      Scrap the tax, it’s way past due. If the service is so great the market can decide what it is worth.

    • Avatar David Lewis

      We should only be paying for something if you want it and TV has gone the same way over the last couple of years with the likes of Sky TV and BT TV as an example, as far as I am concerned paying a licence fee for something that don’t want is outdated, if people want to watch BBC programmes then it’s only fair they should pay for the privilege if they don’t then the shouldn’t pay, it’s time to make the BBC a pay to view service.

    • Avatar R.M.Shepherd

      Fairness is what we all want ,just pay for what you watch from whichever platform ,thats what you do if you go to the cinema or theater or footy match..

    • Avatar Paul Hicks

      I totally agree TV licence is a total rip off I don’t even watch BBC they threw away Johnathan Ross,the voice,the bake off ect ect BBC is run by knobs feathering there own nest

    • Avatar Ian

      The bbc should fund themselves not us we are paying for the rest of the world to watch it free of charge and all the shows are repeats they even have nice names like classic erm you mean repeats again there is only the news and bloody eastenders thats different and even then there shown a hundred times i think a lot of people on this lockdown are now realising just how poor the service is and should be shut down i dont watch it anymore i have turned to netflix where i have controll over what i want to watch

    • Avatar Peter

      The BBC is a rip off time they did it like all other channels advertising welcome to the real world BBC.
      We already pay for broadband for our home and our phones. Come on BBC work for the right to broadcast like all TV company’s around,

    • Avatar BarnaDuke

      The BBC should be an opt in subscription type service. I don’t want to pay for it at all, I do not want to watch/listen to their broadcasts. And I very much resent having to pay for the people that do want to enjoy their products. The choice of what I watch or listen to should be mine, and I am more than happy to pay for My choices.

    • Avatar Dave Hazell

      The BBC is bad at the best of times with more and more of the licence fee going on over paid employees whilst the programming has become pathetic Cheap TV on the BBC – cooking, wildlife programs anything that costs little or nothing to produce AND now during the Corona Virus out break nothing but the same cheap repeat programs every day. You could almost say the BBC likes the Corona Virus as it fills so many many hours with programmes related to it rather than entertaining and taking people’s minds off of it.

  2. Avatar HullLad

    I can’t even begin to describe how ridiculous a notion this is.

    Whilst we’re at it, let’s make all televisions free by charging EDF.

    • Avatar Paul Hicks

      Carl T you’re right where else can you get a TV service with 90% repeat repeat repeat and adverts about death,dogs elephants,cats,donkeys then the 100s of lottery’s it’s all about money money money

    • Avatar Paul Hicks

      Carl T you’re right where else can you get a TV service with 90% repeat repeat repeat and adverts about death,dogs elephants,cats,donkeys then the 100s of lottery’s it’s all about money money money

  3. Avatar JohnH

    If I want to be preached at I would go to Church, but I don’t and don’t pay, why can’t I do the same with the BBC. I don’t watch so why should I pay.

    • Avatar Phil

      @JohnH

      If you don’t watch or take advantage of anything the licence fee covers then you don’t need to pay it.

    • Avatar joe

      Give over Phil. If I want to watch ITV on my TV I get caught by it.

    • Avatar ianh

      @joe

      He’s not talking about needing one and simply not paying.

      If you don’t watch live tv or iplayer, you don’t need one. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    • Avatar Give it a rest

      Think Phil works for BBC?

    • Avatar W.W.

      The TV tax is only to feed the BBC not the rest of the “Freeview*”.¿What is free in F”reeview*”?

    • Avatar Paul M

      You need a licence for any live tv, whether transmitted by or from British operators like the bbc or foreign ones even using different satellites. You need a licence for iPlayer, or any live tv stream (so that would include sky news or ABC news, both live on YouTube).

      The tv licence is massively overreaching.

      And how about premises with multiple internet connections, whether independent ISPs or bonded lines with the same.

  4. Avatar NE555

    If the number of households with a TV were the same as those with broadband, this would slap a charge of £13.12 per month onto your broadband bill to raise the same revenue. In practice there’s still a sizeable minority with TV but no broadband, so the charge would be higher. There are a bunch of key questions to resolve, in particular does this charge apply only to fixed-line connections or to mobile networks and handsets too?

    In any case, making the charge more visible is only going to result in more people asking about the value for money of the BBC, when you compare to (say) Netflix at half the price, which is advert-free and still commissions a load of material of its own.

    Maybe it’s time for the BBC to drop out of the business of quiz shows and reality shows, and stick to the things it does well like Radio 4, current affairs, childrens’ programmes etc.

    • Avatar Phil

      It is hard to compare prices for services offering completely different things. Besides the TV licence covers you for radio and TV with no limit on the number of different devices you can use concurrently, Netflix is a maximum of 4 devices on their top plan of £144.00 a year. You also would need a broadband package to use Netflix so adding say another £20.00 a month to the cost. What about local and national news? You can’t compare Netflix to terrestrial TV and Radio broadcasting.

    • Avatar Simon

      Agreed that you can’t compare them, Netflix has content I am happy to pay for and it’s entirely my choice to do so.

      I pay the BBC just so they don’t send me annoying letters and don’t knock on my door asking if I have a TV.

      I don’t watch their content, every so often I turn it on for a couple of minutes but get annoyed with how they spend more time advertising their own programs on their news show than providing news. Or a terrible accuracy weather forecast compared to a simple online one. Our some chat with a famous person who’s just another BBC presenter from another show who dances when they should be covering a crisis in another country or the results of a scientific or medical study.

      And I haven’t found a good Sci-fi show or science/technology program in more than a decade on the BBC. Euronews and Nhk can manage it but I find I watch them when I want and pick the show so no license coverage needed.

    • Avatar mike

      You don’t need a TV license to listen to radio broadcasts

  5. Avatar Chris Sayers

    If the BBC is so cherished by the government, why doesn’t the government fund the BBC by general taxation, mind I’m in favour of the BBC funding itself via advertising.

    • Avatar Phil

      Because it is optional, not everyone uses the service and if you don’t then you don’t have pay for a TV licence. When you do pay you are paying per household rather than per person. Also it allows the BBC to be somewhat independent of whatever government is in power, if it was just getting a slice from general taxation that would allow a government to more easily bring about some influence on the BBC by decreasing or increasing the tax share it gets. It isn’t a state owned TV company, it is a people owned TV company.

    • Avatar Jim

      The BBC does fund itself partly through advertising; all non-UK content, broadcasts, and online viewers get ads. BBC Worldwide contributes substantially to the corporation’s funding.

      The point of not having it applied as part of general taxation is that it is then funded purely at the whim of the government of the day, whereas the license fee is collected directly and thus the BBC remains financially independent. In practice this is a subtle distinction but an important one.

    • Avatar Mark

      @Jim.

      In 2017 BBC Worldwide contributed £200m, which out of a circa £4bn service I wouldn’t necessarily class as ‘substantial’.

    • Avatar you are boring

      “When you do pay you are paying per household rather than per person.”

      Rubbish and you need to check your facts.

      So many examples where you are wrong. If it were per “HOUSEHOLD” then you would be perfectly entitled to watch iplayer live content if you did not live in a household…

      EXAMPLE one… You are homeless, someone gives you a smartphone (yes many homeless even have them now) yet according to you they can watch iplayer, though how they can if they have no “address” or “household” to stick on the TV licence i fail to see how they can do so legally.

      EXAMPLE two… A person lives in a mobile home. How do they pay to watch the BBC then, seeing as you would have no fixed address. If it is per “household”.

      On the other end of the scale an unlikely but possible scenario is also…

      Example three… I emigrate to the UK from South Korea, i take my old NON smart TV with me which in Korea operates at 60hz and uses ATSC broadcast system. I therefore DO NOT OWN a TV that can even receive UK tv broadcasts.

      I purchase a VERY LARGE satellite dish with an LNB which is again UNABLE to receive UK broadcast but only picks up Eutelsat 7 and Intelsat 19 to watch the channels like Arirang Korea i watched back home…… Well tough t1tty for me the government and the beeb still deem that capable of receiving TV broadcasts even though i can not “receive” any of their sh1t including ITV but would still expect me to pay them.

      I could go on, but arguing with someone that lives in the past and not the modern day era where something invented decades ago no longer works is obviously a waste of time.

      Then again that is the trouble with the BBC, this idea and people that support it….. IGNORANCE.

    • Avatar Matt.

      Here here,itv doesn’t do so bad by selffunding,or channel 5 or 4.…what makes the BBC hollier than thou…and they have equally as many2,3 and 4s as the BBC.
      We’ve seen the flash pole..when was the last time you saw a premiership,euro championship or league football match live on BBC.
      Why is liniker getting such a high salary for presenting football that is old news when being shown 5 hours after full time? Because he’s doing it for BT sport in real time.we pay our license for live news not old news..answer me this you wouldn’t pay full price for yesterday’s paper,but you are to watch a large majority of BBC broadcasts..Anybody done a survey on old compared to new broadcasts

    • Avatar Calum

      If the TV licence is optional then why did my landlord put in the tenancy agreement that I have to pay for it regardless? I’ll tell you you why because he knows its a mandatory tax and the BBC convict people regardless of how optional it is and how much that person has used thier services. It’s about time one networks monolopy over the media in the UK was broken. Its time to give everyone a level playing field.

  6. Avatar Optimist

    Hardly any of the BBC’s output is not also produced by its competitors funded by advertising or pay to view. If there’s anything of national importance that would not be supplied (e.g. the Parliament channel) then these should be put these out to tender and paid for out of general taxation.

    Imposing a licence fee to shore up one broadcaster is as insane as taxing newspapers to fund a “free” copy of The Guardian to every household.

    • Avatar Phil

      So you want a state owned national TV broadcaster to tell you the news that the government controls. There is a very good reason the funding model is as it is currently.

    • Avatar Optimist

      @Phil – Ha ha! I was astonished at your comment until I realised the date!

    • Avatar Stephen Wakeman

      Tell you what Optimist, put the Parliament Channel out to tender and give me an honest estimate of how many commercial channels you think would buy it.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and guess… hmmm… let’s…see… ABSOLUTELY NONE. Channels like that rely on organisation like the BBC because they are not otherwise commercially viable. Viewing figures are too small and who is going to put up with adverts when watching a 3 hour long debate. Who is going to buy advert segments? Simply not viable.

    • Avatar Optimidt

      @ Stephen Wakeman – You make my point for me. Channels which are regarded as a public service could be supported by the taxpayer. That is not the same as one broadcaster being able to put out such shows as “Pointless” (how apt) at public expense.

    • Avatar ANDREW C CARTER

      ITV functions admirably through funding via advertising. SO SHOULD THE BBC. I am also irked by the BBCs’ innability to supply regional news in HD format, everybody else seems to have no problem.

  7. Avatar No broadband

    I don’t mind paying for something I can have.
    But object strongly paying for something I can’t have.
    I get no digital signal and have to watch through satellite for a downgraded service.
    I can’t watch BBC i player.. due to very slow internet.
    And I object paying for the useless USO. Which has cost millions of tax payers money.
    (Studies and MP’s meetings)

    • Avatar Tracey Lyle

      You could always move to get a better broadband. I had problems with my broadband and landline for 6 years, kept telling them there was something wrong, engineer attended 5/6 times. Finally I said I have had enough either you do something about it or I go to another company, I had 3 engineers out for 2 days between the green box and my house they finally told me it was a loose wire touching another fixing. I told them to wait while I made a phone call to see if any crackling. (none) Then I rebooted my router 9/10mbps up.

  8. Avatar Malcolm Wilson

    They should use the choice of advertisements like other companies or have a pay as you view system
    This would give the choice back to individuals.
    I must admit the BBC needs to come up to date and be more accountable for customers fees

    Malcolm Wilson

    • Avatar LT

      A simpler solution would be to encrypt the signal as Sky does and either provide subscribers with a set top box or create an app like Amazon does for Prime. The BBC never mention this solution as they know they would have to live within their means.

    • Avatar The Facts

      Can’t encrypt radio.

    • Avatar you are boring

      “Can’t encrypt radio”

      I guess the satellite and cable providers must of been using black magic all these years.

    • Avatar Tracey Lyle

      Good idea, those with money – no adverts. Those that are on benefits or low income – adverts.

  9. Avatar Granger

    What about those of us who have a cable broadband connection and an FTTC connection. Would we end up paying the levy twice.

    I think the BBC is great in places but it needs to shrink back so it doesn’t overlap so much with commercial operators. i.e. Do we need multiple BBC channels. Stick to just BBC1, BBC2 and CBeebies. The radio stations could be trimmed, do we really need Radio1, Radio 3 etc. The local bbc stations could be removed as they compete with local radio news.

    BBC should go back to focusing on high quality programming and stop trying to compete with Itv, Sky, netflix etc. It should be educating the nation and not trying to aim its content and love island viewers. It is meant to be the national broadcaster.

    • Avatar David Price

      Grainger, sorry I disagree I think the BBC content is utter rubbish and it’s my money that pays my forced TV licence not yours so your opinion counts for nothing.

      The BBC never mention encryption because they know if they had to compete in the open market for subscribers they would struggle, millions would stop buying their content.

      Worth noting that currently we as forced subscribers get no choice, no say, no representation whatsoever. Oh yes they have the government’s, trust, board or whatever they are called today, well you tell me who appoints them and I’ll tell you who they represent…

    • Avatar Tracey Lyle

      I TOTALLY 100% agree with you.

  10. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss

    Mark, please try harder with the old April Fools 😉

  11. Avatar salek

    Why is the BBC getting involved with internet access – the do not provide value to the internet, except something called the Iplayer, which i never use – hands off my internet

    Wonder if this also implies mobile internet as well – the BBC is useless, if they provide a compelling service people will pay subscriptions

  12. Avatar jet14

    The BBC is squandering millions on its staff, they are rolling in the money and enjoying fat cat salaries, they have a monoply, and abusing the money and living off other peoples money, it is a blatent tax even if u dont watch the crap on bbc, it is biased, the people of England need to get out like other countries protest and get rid of this hideous institution,
    The BBC neeeds disbanding it is not providing a service just keeping the salaries rolling in for all those working at the bbc. I want the bbc license scrapped. Greeedy B******* taking fees from oaps and blind deaf people, BBC living off the poor, having free credit cards all expenses paid chaffured, its not their money we should be able to dictate their salaraies, not paying millions for cheapskate presenters !!!

    • Avatar The Facts

      Monopoly of what?

      If you work for a company then getting expenses paid back is what happens.

      Free credit cards???

  13. Avatar bbc bankrobbers

    and if you don’t watch BBC / any TV are they proposing I have to pay for it anyway via stealth now ?

    no thanks.
    it should be opt in.

    perhaps they should pay their “stars” less ?

  14. Avatar M.Faulkner

    I have made a choice to pay for sky and Netflix because I want to watch them. I never watch bbc or listen to any bbc radio. I will not be paying for anything I neither want or use. BBC should be pay per view or have adverts they have got away with this compulsory tax for years.

  15. Avatar craski

    In my opinion, the current TV license model is no longer fit for purpose. It is forced upon us under guise of paying for BBC content but even if you dont consume BBC content, you are still forced to pay it as you need one to “watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)”.

    It is already disgusting that pensioners (up to age 74) and even students living in halls are also expected to pay the tax.

    Hiding the tax within another household bill just muddies the waters even further. The BBC need to move with the times and provide a mechanism to charge for their content that allows people who do not need or want that content a real choice to not pay for it.

  16. Avatar Neb

    BBC license fee should not in anyway be connected with an ISP tax, forced upon every broadband bill payer. Predict it would dent full fibre uptake due to the increase cost and in turn slow down our nationwide upgrade! Lest not forget we’re only just over 10% coverage.

    See the connection though – streaming and younger generations not paying it and eating into the £5Bn (£3.8Bn license fee) mega budget (2017/8).

  17. Avatar Nicola

    I wonder if the BBC would refund the license fee to those who were exempt from paying but have broadband for general computer use. It seems just as complicated as collecting a license fee to me.
    I guess it would allow the BBC to steal the license from those using broadband but not watching TV. They can give each other bigger pay rises in celebration!

  18. Avatar Frederick Bloggs

    Cue all the moaning whingers who say I never watch BBC content. Even my mother tried that despite watching a variety of programmes, although she does actually pay it.

    I should come out of general taxation. Its not even a quarter of a penny.

    That way people who work pay for it and those like pensioners and other groups don’t.

    Too many people claim not to watch it publicly, but privately are watching content whether news or drama and also end up paying for it again via a platform into Sky television for channels like UKTV (Gold/Alibi/Watch etc) or see BBC content on other channels like Five and others. If the BBC was not there, that content wouldn’t be available to the other channels too.

    • Avatar Chris

      I haven’t watched any live TV for over 2 years, Netflix, Amazon, youtube and social media is where I get my info and viewing entertainment. So no I disagree.

    • Avatar Mohammed Jamil

      5 years strong without paying a dime to the BBC and they sent their cronies out to my house to check if I had. When I showed them the completly cut off live terrestrial TV wire along with no BBC IPlayer app on my smart TV and no means of watching live BBC programmes. Did the sad little pathetic enforcer turn around with his stiff d*** now firmly between his legs and left my property.

    • Avatar Spoffle

      Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. I don’t need a TV licence, I don’t watch broadcast TV, or iPlayer. I would not be happy being expected to pay towards the BBC TV licence fee through my already expensive Internet connection.

  19. Avatar MATTHEW BROWN

    Time the bbc was gone

  20. Avatar Dominic Davis-Foster

    “Not that the content they create isn’t good…”

    But most of it isn’t good, and the bits that are get made by third parties who could just as easily sell their content to ITV/Channel 4/Sky/Amazon/Netflix.

  21. Avatar Billy

    April fools day was cancelled due to covid-19 Mark…

  22. Avatar Mc Tyler

    Think they’re just going to have to bite the bullet and start introducing a system of advertising and sponsorship revenue.
    They will have to trim their services and look at having a subscription model for online content just as they are doing with Britbox.

  23. Avatar Chris

    I absolutely DO NOT agree. I do not Watch or want anything to do with the BBC they disgust me. The utter cheek of it, who do they think they are?

  24. Avatar jet14

    Once this covid-19 is over next on the list is the BBC, we want rid off this tax and corporation absolutely monstrous, who did all the bbc think they are free loading and enjoyiung top salaries on pensions and fining the poor for their crap shoved down, we need a petition and debate in parliament not their own hidden consultations, get off and f*** off all u at BBC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Avatar Tim J

    It should be about CHOICE. That being the viewer’s choice of what they want to watch. Watching BBC channels isn’t compulsory but paying for them is. When you take away public choice that becomes dictatorship.
    It’s about time they changed the system to an encrypted set top box subscription system just like sky etc so those who want to watch BBC pay for it. Remove BBC channels from other subscription platforms.
    BBC radio could also be funded from the TV subscription in the same way it’s funded now from TV licensing.
    It’s not difficult to do, but they don’t want it because they know the funding level will decrease when people who don’t watch don’t pay.

  26. Avatar Bbceed off

    They can shove that idea where the sun don’t shine sorry, BBC is broadcast all over the world but we are the only ones charged to watch it!!!!!! Ps stop paying the presenters so much then you will have more of the taxpayers MONEY leftover to use

    • Avatar Stephen

      Gary lineker gets paid more then the whole of Scottish football tv rights in total bbc has 15 hours of content of Scottish football in shows over a week shorly this is morally wrong.

  27. Avatar Geoff L

    The BBC is at a serious cross roads. The licence fee relies on an outdated vision of TV viewing, and it is now a significant amount of money. If the UK people want a national public service broadcaster then someone has to pay. In these serious times many turn to the BBC, and there is an argument that a small (<10%) core service could be paid for from general taxation or indeed a tax on broadband!. But the rest, Strictly Come Dancing, Premier Football etc, could be on a subscription or advertised system.

  28. Avatar Darren

    The BBC produces a massive amount of content nowadays, all from a TV license. Only half of which goes on TV programming. So changing source funding is not a ridiculous thing to bring up. Personally I think the BBC should be split up into radio, TV, web, news divisions. Fund the website from an internet levely. Should be about £2 a month. TV as is, at about half the cost. News from central government and also web. Radio from a radio levely or from central government. Personally I would just rid of radio.

    • Avatar The Facts

      BBC radio really important now. Many of the programmes would never be produced by anyone else.

    • Avatar W.W.

      Should be good that pay who want to use that service and that’s all. Not everybody have the enough money for to pay for something that won’t won’t use. If you want that you are free to pay but don’t include me, I have enough.

  29. Avatar Stephen

    The bbc should just go like sky you pay to view it. As they have half did this already with the new service they have introduced in conjunction with itv. Why someone who despises bbc would have a stealth tax imposed on them to fund bbc presenters who are on over one million £ a year when they are going without food

  30. Avatar Steve Smith

    Why does the BBC feel that it has to have an income from the public. About time it caught up with the other channels and funded itself through advertising etc. Perhaps the powers that be realise they cannot compete and it’s the only way to keep their huge wages coming in. Time to get real, too many repeats and better programmes on other channel. This is no longer a public service but a cash cow.

  31. Avatar Gonzo

    And in a short while when 5G rolls out making broadband obsolete…
    I know people who currently don’t have a broadband connection in their home because their 4G service is faster and more reliable. They aren’t what you’d call cut off. Sure they live in a small village, but that village is only a few miles outside of Brighton City. However at best they get less than 1Mbbs through their broadband

  32. Avatar Bow

    I like the BBC but I’m afraid they abused the license fee by including every other commercial channel on to the license fee, were we can’t watch say Sky only without the licence.

    I like the BBC, but as a British person I’m not interested in the world service, or channels they have in other countries. They assume that if they went commercial the quality of programmes would go down. I don’t agree. They are also a very wasteful organisation from paying inflated salaries to not even archiving their back cataologue that the average joe as paid a license fee for.

    They could create a premium online service and charge for that.

  33. Avatar Mohammed Jamil

    OK my question isn’t about the topic being discussed persay it’s more about Phil and that he’s clearly employed by the BBC for the sole purpose of replying to each and every comment on this article trying to justify the need for TV licencing.

    [admin note: some lines of this comment were removed for posting abuse toward another poster, which is against the rules].

  34. Avatar JackR

    There is no way that I will ever pay for the BBC. I will refuse to pay any Tax, I will never support the BBC and I hope it goes bankrupt.

  35. Avatar Cleo

    Bog off! Cheeky gits.

  36. Avatar HateTVlicence

    Since when was this a good idea, how about the BBC stop being parasites and fund themselves. The BBC’s quality programming consists of overpaying idoits to go to distant lands on Ur coin. (Cough, cough, top gear). 8 billion a year. Plus what about their other channels such as dave etc. Don’t see itv knocking at the door.

  37. Avatar Alan

    Lets not forget that it was unfortunately a Tory Gov’mt that transferred the Licence fee tax from Central Gov to the BBC and empowered them to enforce the tax as a legal threat to customers.

    Making older people pay the licence fee is just pathetic. They will have paid this fee ALL of their lives and should be able to look forward to a free period.

    Lets transfer the tax back to the Central Gov and pay it out of funds from taxation.

    Lets also just get rid of the TV Licence fee once and for all with no Broadband levy and lets force the BBC to become what it really is a commercial organisation. Considerable fees are made by the BBC for all it’s non-public service programmes. Let them spend this on surviving. If forced to become a commercial organisation then salaries would tumble, outrageous fees to “talent” would tumble and all those trying-to-be so called stars would slowly perish.

    • Avatar W.W.

      Nothing good can come from the Tories but they aren’t alone with the TV taxes as others as Corbyn agreed with that too.

  38. Avatar Xavier Colbert-Jones

    Tony & Sarah

    You say “The Gays & Leabians, are like a rash all over the place”

    I fail to see what that has to do with the BBC (British Bullsh!t Corporation) and the rediculous license fee. You have absolutely no right to be bigotted and ignorant about someones sexuality.
    How would u like it if someone said that old farts like you are like a rash that doesnt go away and should keep your wrinkled trap shut.

    • Avatar Don

      Tony & Sarah’s comment must have been taken down but I can see, from your response, that you are a fan of the BBC’s stance on people’s lifestyle choices. I would probably agree with them, if I could read it, because ever since the ridiculous HARDTALK interview with the then Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding I have stopped funding the BBC despite having several TVs. The new PM of Jamaica was not given the opportunity to talk about anything other than that Island’s aversion to certain lifestyle choices. He was zealously harried on why the new PM was not doing enough to promote said lifestyle choices! The most ridiculous interview. If people want to live a certain way that is their business, not the job of a “national broadcaster” to demean anyone who disagrees. But the BBC has a record of defending paedophiles and sexual predators as we all know. Their HQ has a rather infamous statue/homage to a known paedophile after all

  39. Avatar Nigel Welsh

    The Licence should be scrapped period. I see no reason as to why I must pay monies for a licence fee. They should simply put on adverts like the rest of commercial TV and live of the revenues it generates. The licence fee is simply another taxation and for those who constantly state ‘oh we have the best programming, the BBC is way above other countries’ I say this, “programming would remain constant and probably improve as advertising would generate better revenues and I do not live in other countries. Get rid of this tax.

  40. Avatar Shane

    Could we ever imagine the government passing a law to force everyone to subscribe to Netflix or Amazon prime? I know it’s not completely same but you shouldn’t be forced to subscribe to anything by the government that isn’t a essential service.

  41. Avatar Amer2020

    Why are we still paying for a service that most people dont want?

    Why are the British people being forced to pay for a service. When they do not have a choice in the matter.
    What’s next broadband providers will take money from our wages. Because we have to pay for Internet even though we may not want to.
    Come on. Get into 2020.
    If the BBC is allowed to take the route it want to, this will open the gates for every company to do as it pleases.
    This is as bad if not worst as the company’s who send you text messages and charge you for it. You did not want them to text you but you still got charged. If you chanlage them they say it will as a mistake.

    Maybe if the BBC was not full of bloody free masons we would not be having this problem. As they control so much of the UK. We are not here to pay the wages of free masons make a living like the rest of us you free loadres

  42. Avatar Amanda thewlis

    What if you don’t have broadband how would it then work

  43. Avatar Jon

    Got to admire the pure cheek of the B@stard Billing Company as they see the number of licenses drop.
    I for one will certainly fight to not be extorted by them to access the internet!
    No one should ever be made to pay other than for the service for internet access.
    The whole point of the internet is a place to share ideas and have freedom to explore and learn.
    It would set an awful precedent for the future. Imagine a mobile phone levy or personal computer tax!

    • Avatar Dennis

      This is not the first time the BBC has suggested doing this. They want this because it means a fee or tax can be charged to all without any need to use any enforcement or worry that someone is avoiding payment because everyone that has a wired or mobile network connection to the internet is being charged. For me, my mobile phone bill and landline bill will double for the privilege of a ‘service’ I don’t want. I don’t watch TV, so why should I pay?

      I always wondered what a service is, I didn’t understand until I saw my neighbour leading a bull into a field of cows, asking him what he was doing he said he was hoping to get the cows all services by the bull, and all of a sudden it dawned on me how everything promoting themselves as a service was really servicing me.

  44. Avatar Frederick Bloggs

    Look what comes out of the wood work.

    Yes, I’d like to not pay council tax for living in a field where there is no street lighting, have no kids so would do I pay for youth clubs and schemes, have no elderly, so why pay for the elderly care.

    Never used a hospital other than being born, last used a doctor 20+ years ago.

    I also have to pay my pay TV supplier for a bouquet of tv channels I never watch as I can’t pay only for the ones I do watch.

    My train season ticket – I don’t commute in every day and it works out cheaper than 3 daily tickets where I live. I don’t get a choice here either.

    The BBC is respected around various countries. They get a glut of our output and think its like that 365 day, the same way we get American stuff in a glut and some people think America tv is great like that 365 days.

    TV license is managed by Capita not the BBC and various production companies make content for BBC ideas and commissions because Thatcher forced 25% of output to be from independent companies. These are facts.

    When the last good British thing is gone, its gone along with a huge archive to probably foreign ownership. It doesn’t mean not to reform the vast wages paid to some “stars” or collect the license funding a different way such as general taxation.

    A minority on here does not reflect silent majority. Advertising would impact all the other channels and mean constant interruptions to programmes with adverts in them or sponsorship deals with products being forced forward. Only popular programmes like soaps and quizzes would be made (look at ITV output nowadays since the advertising slump from 2008 and other channels) or cheap diet of imports. The BBC being there forces UK broadcasters to produce UK content of a quality bar.

    Netflix and co – you think that’s going to continue being a few quid? In the near future you’ll need Amazon, Netflix, Disney+ and each will be ramping up their average revenue per user every year and using DRM so you never can record anything to keep.

  45. Avatar Darren

    Why not just put advertisements on simple then do away with the tv license all together can’t remember the last time I watched the bcc properly thinking of cancelling it and just stream everything anyway

  46. Avatar Pezza

    Well I know exactly where the BEEB fan stick the idea of forcing broadband users to pay for its services as no doubt you’ll pay regardless if you use them or not like the current system!
    They need to grow up and move with the times and adopt a subscription service for its users ONLY to pay for, or switch to an advertising model like everyone else uses, it’s really that simple.

    It’s clear the BBC just wants its guaranteed income from the British public and do little to justify it.

  47. Avatar Cmaybury

    When Lineker is fired and salaries are none above what the PM gets people may be ready to pay .Too many dossers for the BBCS OWN GOOD.

  48. Avatar Pete

    It’s about time BBC stopped wasting their time trying to squeeze money out of us directly when they can just source their revenue through company adverts like other TV companies & leave us alone. They just wanna stay in the dark ages.

  49. Avatar Pete

    I wouldn’t argue if you actually include any programmes worth watching on BBC . My wife watches EastEnders & I watch snooker when it’s on BBC & that’s it, even BBC Radio is boring. Most programming seems to be aimed at pensioners LOL

  50. Avatar Chris R

    The BBC is irrelevant and should be de-funded in its entirety.
    It has shown that it does not support the British people, nor the creative arts, nor objectivity.

    The BBC is a farse at this stage. Frankly, if all the private broadcasters can compete, then the BBC can have its lot thrown in with them.
    #ScrapTheLicenseFee
    #DefundTheBBC

  51. Avatar Don

    Really strange that some some people on this thread are still regurgitating the rubbish about a national treasure, good vfm, quality content etc. Fine, if you think that pay for it. I, personally, think it is a malevolent, mendacious disgrace. It continually lies and present news with it’s ridiculous in-built bias. That is my opinion and it is why, despite having several TVs I don’t give them a penny and haven’t for years.

  52. Avatar Michael

    BBC biggest trolling ever. Hands of ISP. Full of crap programs and tons of BS. Watched it for 3 days. Took it off permanently 4y ago. And its never coming back to our household. BBC Is a NETFLIX/AMAZON WANABE but far from decent tv.
    And news , lets not start that way. XD.

  53. Avatar Timeless

    lm not paying for something l dont use, the worst part being is that its currently being used as a government mouthpiece and biased news. lve no interest in using the IPlayer or even remotely watching any BBC associated channel and lm not paying for anyone else to do so either. the BBC isnt a public broadcaster any more so if it wants to charge ppl then go over to sky or create a PPV service but dont make me pay for something that l have no interest in.

  54. Avatar Ban the BBC

    Never paid a licence, never will.
    Never watched the BBC, never will.
    Even if there were programs on there that did catch my interest, I’m not paying £157 per year. Especially when I know it’s just going towards Gary Linekers £1.7million salary. They should hire me instead. I’ll happily sit and waffle about football for a fraction of the cost.

  55. Avatar Frederick Bloggs

    A broadband levy won’t happen, yet people seriously on here daft enough to think it will. The BBC already said they were not advocating it and were merely comparing what other countries do.

    People can carry on bashing our national British Broadcaster, sure they have got some things wrong of late, but what other broadcaster would have ripped themselves apart over it on their OWN news bulletins? Murdoch when he was running Sky? Really?ALL political parties said the BBC was biased during Brexit; which doesn’t make sense meaning that whilst one or two stories may have been at fault, the majority was balanced coverage as all parties thought it was biased to another party!

    Anyway, one day the bashers out there will wake up and smell the coffee when they realise they can no longer *pretend* to not use any content and its actually behind a pay wall. Don’t ever think for one moment, that this may not happen. Then you really will have to dig deep into your pockets otherwise no access on the sly. It’s not going to be just included in a normal Sky subscription without significant change in pricing.

    To keep the BBC, people should lobby for general taxation funding and the vulnerable and elderly then do not pay and we have hope of BRITISH content invested in jobs in BRITAIN and an industry.

  56. Avatar Geoff

    So what they are suggesting is to replace the mandatory licence fee with a mandatory surcharge on network services.

    What?

    Isn’t the point to change the BBC to have a less taxation subsidised business model?

    The sad truth is that I’m 42 and only watch Doctor Who on BBC and no other any TV channel, my children (2 teenagers) don’t watch any TV content outside of Netflix and YouTube.

    The BBC as a nationalised broadcaster was fine in the 1940s when there was no market like today and I don’t think the BBC should be holding on to the past.

    They should stand by their content as a revenue stream. If it’s any good people will sub but if it isn’t then it will be a wake up call to modernise or die off.

    Forcing everyone to pay for an aging service is just wrong however you present it.

  57. Avatar Gavin

    The BBC provides a good value service if you watch, or listen to BBC radio or TV. But if you don’t use there service, it a ripe off to subsidise someone else. Why don’t the BBC just show adverts. If you you don’t like adverts pay for a non advert primiume version.

    • Avatar Gavin

      I forgot to mention Channel 4 is a public service funded by adverts and do quite well, I watch allot more on Channel 4 than I do BBc.

  58. Avatar Frederick Bloggs

    You may watch Channel 4, I watch far more BBC. Despite both having national coverage the BBC gets far more viewers on BBC1 so it speaks for itself. The programmes don’t attract the numbers and Channel 4 is no longer niche as it used to be in the 80s and 90s.

    As stated, but nobody likes to listen, the levy was not advocated by the BBC, it was a response on what other countries do. Responses on studies often do this.

    Anyone managed to get sky or virgin to only charge you for the exact channels you want yet? Anyone got the council to agree to a reduction in council tax to cover only the things you agree to pay? No, thought not…..

    • Avatar Spoffle

      But I don’t watch any BBC channels, or even broadcast TV as it airs. I’m not interested in funding the BBC for content I don’t want.

      I don’t fund Sky or Virgin’s TV arms either, I just use streaming services so I can literally watch exactly what I want to at any point.

  59. Avatar AJT

    All this BBC discussion bugs me. Sky/VM are having you for mugs. They show (lots of) advertising and you pay them for the privilege. Surely we need to be looking at that before we look at anything the BBC does.

    • Avatar Spoffle

      I don’t sub to Sky or Virgin, and the only time I have was when I had a friends and family discount with Virgin that made a TV, broadband and phone package cheaper than just broadband by itself, and even then the Virgin box was only used for Netflix and YouTube.

      Now I’ve got an AppleTV that I use for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus, and YouTube. The only ads I see are on Amazon for other TV shows they host, and I’m fine with that.

  60. Avatar Tim Hawkins

    Cant the bbc operate a global subscription model like netflix, or perhaps do a licensing deal to put bbc content in netflix, if they dont want to run the operation themselves globaly and use that revenue to support tbe public broadcast activities.

    As an ex-pat, I would pay extra to be able access bbc content online outside of the UK.

  61. Avatar M. Smith

    The whole concept of requiring to have a licence for a television is and was a joke. The fact that it’s not really a licence in the end of the day, but just a huge subscription charge that faces legal action if you don’t want to pay it! The BBC has been on the decline for years, quality wise. Too many radio stations, and trying to produce toomany channels probably lead to that!

    In an age where we are free to choose what we want to watch, we should be able to choose if we want to watch the bbc or not! The fact that the bbc feel they can even threaten to “have to then take the money from our broadband bills” shows not only the size of their ego, but also how much power they think they have!

    There should be no threat of legal action for having a tv(now mobile device or laptop that you use to watch tv)… it’s not something that requires skill to sit and watch, that is dangerous if used wrong… you know, like a car.

    Basically the BBC are scared that if it was left to choice…. they might find that they potentially would be left with not so many viewers or listeners.

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      Incorrect assumption. The BBC is NOT, repeat, NOT, repeat again, NOT advocating a broadband levy which would never happen anyway.

      As said before, it was a response to various studies of how other countries fund their PSB.

    • Avatar JohnH

      The mention Broadband levy and later then went on to say they were not advocating it. Well I know 1984 speak when I see it, drip drip always becomes reality.

  62. Avatar Frederick Bloggs

    Despite saying it earlier already, and people ignoring it and concentrating on their own agenda, hands up anyone who thinks an advertising model by the BBC would *NOT* affect all the other UK commercial channel revenues?

    Hands up those who love 3-4 advert breaks per hour like ITV and CH4/CH5 and other commercial operators wit forced product placement sponsorship.

    Hands up if you didn’t think BBC content was on Netflix or Amazon Prime anyway but somehow think that content would be there if the BBC did not exist.

    Lastly, hands up if you think the subscriptions for Prime, Netflix and Disney+ and Now TV/Sky would not rocket without the BBC being there (commercial means average revenue per user is always expected to increase year on year to show income growth to the market which means subscription increases)?

    • Avatar Don

      Fred Bloggs, what a load of rubbish. I am supposed to subsidise a politically motivated broadcaster who I do not watch or listen to in any way – so that you can avoid commercial adverts? Drivel. Your argument makes no sense whatsoever. If the BBC is such a great broddcaster then you pay for it along with the other fans, don’t ask me to. I don’t anyway as they are a bunch of morally dubious perverts.

  63. Avatar Neil

    Once it’s gone, along with all the other benefits it brings, you’ll regret it.

    I might not watch TV that much, but I’m thankful it’s there.

    • Avatar Optimist

      Those who want to receive it will still be able to do so. They will have to foot the bill, however, not the rest of us.

  64. Avatar New_Londoner

    Judging from the nearly illiterate posts above, apparently from many different people, the Russian trolls farms must have had a quiet day and not much else to do yesterday!

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      And another quiet day today judging by some of the equally inept posts below. Maybe do some language training on the troll farms before posting?

  65. Avatar Percy Small

    Even George Galloway the Firebrand leftist favors ending this state extortionist broadcaster. So the left and the right agree that the BBC should have to justify it’s existence. In the free market just like everyone else.

  66. Avatar Richard Jones

    The BBC Licence should be the same has Netflix or Sky, if you want to watch Content from the BBC then you pay to get it, they take it for granted that you want to watch their programmes.

  67. Avatar Ken W

    The BBC levy (licence fee) has had its day, it’s boring, it’s biased, it’s cr!p or is that what it stands for, it’s disgusting that blind people have to pay any fee it’s also disgusting on deaf, and the +75s have been robbed (by the way I am not any of these)
    So many repeats,biased weather reports that never give an answer, it’s mind washing by British media as are the National press,
    Today’s public have brains the circulation of papers and watching ITV or BBC is the bottom step of British live
    Never purchased a paper since 1990 unless on holiday abroad, shut up shop, it’s a tax on life,
    If you don’t want something you should have the right not to use or pay for it, why be forced, bin the charge, or pay on demand when used,
    The M6 toll, if you use it, pay for it, if you don’t drive the other way, It’s a choice, don’t watch BBC, don’t listen to BBC Radio,
    I have internet and Broadband at work but can’t listen or watch TV, so why should our company pay a none use levy

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      Tell me Ken, how you go about paying for things you only want to pay for with Council Tax?

      I’m interested to know if there is anything in there we all have to pay as a society, that you don’t use? I know I am paying for plenty in there like other peoples facilities for kids I’m never gonna have for one.

      Also, how do you get Sky or Virgin or BT TV to selectively only charge you for the channels that you want out of a subscription (whether you have one active or not).

      And how do you feel about National Insurance contributions? Would you like to not pay them as you don’t use the NHS or you believe in totally private health care subscription?

      And did you feel elated when all the sports that was free on BBC without a subscription just a license for a TV anyway, was snatched initially by SKY and now you also need BT Sport if you like sport that’s on both broadcasters? Would you argue THAT was a good result then even though its costing vastly more money to a large number of people who want sport and price out the lower paid?

  68. Avatar r gupta

    How pathetic that a company is allowed to hold people to ransom because they cant be bothered or do not wish to bring there company into the current way of global business practices.
    simply put if the service is not used it is not paid for. every other person on the planet has to follow this rule in business. the BBC has no right whatsoever and i would like to see them reinforce this. the government have already said no to their ways and suggested you can do what every other business does. so where is the BBC collective thinking that they can say no and that is final? oh i see they run the country then do they? well that is news isn’t it!

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      R Gupta, The BBC is a government public service broadcaster and not a traditional business as such. It has a ROYAL CHARTER arranged by government to operate. It is not based on shareholders for example. It is not there for profit.

      “simply put if the service is not used it is not paid for. ” – really is this how your council tax works and your National Insurance contributions? You can opt out of paying for services you don’t use in your council tax or not pay NI (partly) for the NHS?

      And can you remind me WHAT the government has said “No” to in your statement? They merely said they are doing an evaluation/study.

      Once again, for people who cannot read the thread above, the BBC is NOT, repeat NOT advocating a broadband levy. The study merely looked at what other countries did and was a comment that out of those options found that was the only one likely. The levy on BB won’t happen anyway!

  69. Avatar Joe

    @Phil @Frederick Bloggs good to see the BBC’s armchair volunteer force out in arms, that or else you are part of the BBC’s wing of misinformation/defence propaganda machine.

    Radio is free to listen to, you don’t need a license for that.

    All their top staff are vastly over paid, pocketing large sums of TVL money, free travel, year on year pay increases and bonuses.

    The BBC have set up businesses and schemes for years to aid all their actors/news reporters/directors/ all their elite employees to evade ALL taxes. Not only that but they have hired enforcer thugs threatening even those who do not need to pay a license. They have a history of malpractice in all areas of society.

    The BBC set aside 12,000,000 in LICENSE FEE PAYERS MONEY to cover the cost of their Tax evasion schemes just for last year. Is it any wonder prices keep rising????????

    Time to turn the BBC into a subscription service. Stay with your head stuck in the sand all you like – you armchair supporters should be more than happy to cover the rising cost of their service via subscription.

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      Joe, you are laughable.

      If somebody doesn’t agree with the activists view, the simple mentality is that they are associated with a company. Heaven forbid that someone just has a different point of view to you and thinks of a bigger picture around other broadcasters (with regards to impact to their advertising revenue if BBC followed that model) and various other things.

      Fortunately though, the noisiest activists only get noise on a forum like this. Look at the Labour party and all their noise and bullying of views. Didn’t they do well lol The majority vote in England didn’t think so.

      Thanks, but I’d rather keep our BBC, encourage reforms on reducing wage enumeration for the stars (normal staff are generally lower paid than commercial), further reduce any wastage and lobby for the license fee from general taxation so that pensioners and low paid are not affected by a yearly license fee. I don’t want a diet of trash cheapo imports and charged excessive amounts of money by a pay tv provider for the odd good thing.

      I don’t want the rich archive of the BBC which contains many great programmes from drama to documentaries to children’s programming to historic news archive sold and destroyed in parts by a foreign company (much like Disney did with the ITV TVS archive). You then would not see any content on any services or reduced subset, and could affect ability to supply traditional media like dvd and blu ray like we currently have.

      Just because a select minority on this forum CLAIM to not watch any content (but likely will via other channels on a pay TV provider or streaming service) does not reflect the majority. A lot of people are pure BS when they say they don’t watch BBC content. Radio is still BBC content and its free because its funded by the license fee anyway.They don’t just have to play the records the music industry says to play and repeat them over and over again like the UK regional commercial stations do…

  70. Avatar Kathleen Hare

    Why are we paying for BBC yet have jo say in the running of it. Nothing but reality shows and repeats very few of anything else. Why do the CEOs and presenters paid such hughe wages, its ludicrous. Then expecting the public to pay for it. When a lot of ordinary people are on a quarter if what most presenters earn. Find ourselves for a change and all of u pay ur taxes instead of avoiding and scamming ur way out if it. Then we would all be better off

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      Whilst I agree with you on excessive wages for stars, its the same whether BBC or commercial channels.

      In fact, the commercial providers are paying vastly more. I agree the BBC should dump Lineker (which may happen on contract expiry) and concentrate on NEW talent that is vastly cheaper. I think they are realising the public opinion on this and not to have a key star at any price thinking that’s what people want.

      Footballer’s are grossly overpaid too. It’s a society thing where football comes before scientists and doctors, engineering and specialist IT roles etc.

  71. Avatar SP

    I don’t even watch BBC or any of the 4/5 basic channels,
    That’s why everybody has BT/Sky/Virgin and that’s why the BBC want to put the cost against Broadband,
    This has nothing to do with them and it shouldn’t even be discussed,

    The government should scrap the license and let the advertisers pay for it!!

  72. Avatar Ranjid

    Blatantly Biased Corporation, never will I watch or listen to their bs again. Brainwashing by the BBC is a good thing to look up. A complete Liberal leftie middle class organisation. Not to be trusted with impartial news.

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      One or two stories may have been biased but your argument does not stand up well as ALL, repeat ALL political parties have made complaints about BIAS. That means they are not biased in the way you claim them to be else it would only be complaints from one party.

      I don’t think the BBC was biased at all when it came to news items about the organisation. They gave scrutiny on air way more than even the commercial operators did over equal pay to female staff, the stuff that Saville got up to in 70’s/80s. They literally ripped everything apart on air. What commercial operator would do that, it would be a passing item at best.Would Murdoch have done it with such scrutiny over the News Of the World phone hacking when he owned Sky News? Nope…they did what they needed to report on without much analysis….

  73. Avatar Tim Solway

    I do NOT use any BBC related service therefore I do Not understand why in god’s green hell I should have to pay for TV license (I don’t so I unsubscribe 6 years ago even got 6months back out 4 years not watching it…sweet). Why in the hell should I have to pay an added premium to my internet provider on an already top range pack(because I don’t require TV). I play netflix, now Disney+ and xbox live. Any relevant news would be featured on Google, Yahoo, MSN, bing or whatever services or word of mouth as any socialable person may do

  74. Avatar Groucho

    The BBC wants it all ways.It wants the licence fee, then becomes involved in UKTV which, according to Wikipedia, it now owns. So, it wants to be a public service broadcaster, and a commercial operator. When it finds that viewers are no longer interested in its output, it then starts feeling for money from another source as so many people are watching via the net and ‘normal’ TV is on the way out. When I studied my own viewing habits, (and those of my family) I found I hardly ever watch TV, (never BBC) and I gave up the radio years ago. The BBC has had its day. People must not be bamboozled into believing that life would not be the same without it. It has to go

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      The money from these services, including channels on other satellites, along with commercial activity of BBC Studios, is re-invested back into the BBC. Sky and Virgin hate the BBC giving boxsets away for free on iPlayer and they want the UKTV content as its popular on their pay platforms in their subscription packages to entice customers.

      Unfortunately, the government made the BBC take on the funding for BBC Monitoring, BBC World Service and the license fee for over 75’s. True they haven’t helped the situation with stars earning large sums to keep them from being poached, but that’s likely to change on contract expiry as the backlash over that from the public.

  75. Avatar Nicholas Simms

    The TV licence is a tax on the poor plain and simple. To poor to pay for the licence then tough your to poor to watch a TV

    • Avatar Frederick Bloggs

      So lobby for general taxation funding model instead where the cost isn’t even a quarter of 1p. Low paid and pensioners are then not affected.

  76. Avatar Groucho

    Paying for the BBC out of general taxation is not the answer. They will just continue their profligate ways. If they truly own UKTV, let them move everything to that and sod off. Together with their other commercial enterprises, they should be able to keep going for those who wish to view their ‘wonderful’ output. Paying for them from taxes just makes them another part of government. This is why the RNLI prefer to remain independent, and Education Otherwise also.

  77. Avatar Alan hannah

    I’m part of the generation that has no need or want for the television, I grew up watching it but never the BBC, when I moved out I never even set my TV up to pick up channels and I still have to deal with the collectors and there nonsense but my only consern is that the Internet is massively importent to everyone, and is getting more importent by the day, from paying bills, learning during school and higher education to job applications and opertunities. A TV license means entertainment, a broadband tax means that there is further barriers to education, employment and opertunity. The BBC will go from a dying and redundant entertainment platform to a true evil that creates problems for the poorest in society. I promise you this, if this comes, I will not benifit in any way and be robbed for the luxury of accessing the foundations of the world I live in

  78. Avatar Martyn Braithwaite

    While this is clearly an April fools joke, the sad reality is, that the BBC are like this, and they probably would do anything they possibly code to do this. I get more letters from the BBC threatening to visit me, or threatening to come around than I do from everyone else combined. I don’t have a TV.

    Yes I could ring them up give them my full name and details and get peace for a couple of months. But then the harassment starts all over again, but this time they have my name so then the intimidation starts all over again. It has got to the point in the past where i’ve bought a tv licence just to not be harassed anymore – even when I didn’t have a tv.

    It’s better to just ignore them completely and never give them your personal information. It’s just such a shame they send hundreds of harassment letters a year to you. It’s terrible for the environment and it’s terrible for forests and there’s no way to stop it.

    The comments here are just a reflection on how hated the BBC licence fee model is.

  79. Avatar DJ

    In the COVID lock down I have taken out a subscription to Netflix for £5.99 per month (half the price of a TV licence) and now hardly watch anything on the BBC apart from the news. However I have become increasingly frustrated with the inability for the BBC news to handle more than one topic at a time, last year it was wall to wall Brexit, then the election, then the flooding and now the pandemic. They go over the same material time and time again focusing on emotional impact on people and the NHS rather than in depth analysis (I include Newsnight in this). I am not interested in trashy game shows or celebrity cooking programmes so there is littel else to make us watch BBC any longer.

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